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Safety in Travel

By Donna McBride

 

Flight attendants on the move still have to worry about muggings on dark docks in St. Thomas and theft during the night in Rome. Even if you stick close to your hotel, things can still go wrong. But there are ways to make your travels safer.

Before beginning your trip, photocopy your driver's license, passport, credit cards, and any card cancellation numbers. Armed with copies, you will find it much easier to get replacements if the originals are lost or stolen.

You probably will not spend all your time in the hotel, so you will need to choose safe transportation. Hiring a car and driver is a great convenience and a time saver. Four-star hotels can be a good source for careful drivers that are bilingual. Make sure you inquire bout charges before setting off for the day. If on foot, wear comfortable shoes so that you can move quickly if necessary. If you carry a bag, keep your hand on it and the strap across your body instead of over your shoulder. Scope out guidebooks and street maps for each of your destinations. Lost people make easy pickings for street criminals. Good online sources for maps are www.maps.com and www.mapquest.com. Predators always strike after the lost or the confused. Act as if you know exactly where you are and where you are going and this will exude self-confidence.

For overseas trips to a place where you do not speak the language, pick up a phrase book. At the bare minimum, learn to say hello, yes, no, please, and thank you in the local language. People are more apt to help if you show them you are trying to visit their culture instead of bringing yours with you.

Should you choose to venture inland for an overnight stay on your time off, pick small hotels over the larger ones. At small hotels the staff know who you are if you take a few minutes to treat them as individuals. Greet the concierge by name and ask him to make all restaurant reservations. Ask the doorman to tell drivers where you are going and tell him when you expect to return. The more you use the services, the more they will remember you. It is in good taste to tip for service, so make sure that you have money in hand and are not distracted while searching through a wallet or purse. Do not forget to use the chain or dead-bolt on your door at night.

Be aware of your surroundings and rely on your inner voice to tell you things do not feel right. Of course, it is always safest to travel in groups and much more fun in the long run.
 



Author Information:

 

This article was written by Donna McBride a Gulfstream V flight attendant based in Florida. The article originally appeared in the September 2000 issue of the Flight Attendant News.